I am an Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of California, Davis

My research focuses on theoretical astrophysics and cosmology, primarily:

  • cosmological structure formation
  • galaxy formation
  • near-field cosmology
  • galactic archaeology
  • the Milky Way and the Local Group
  • low-mass (dwarf) galaxies
  • galaxy groups and clusters
  • cosmological simulations
  • computational methods

Together with my research group at UC Davis and collaborators in the FIRE project, I am developing the computational methods to run the next generation of cosmological simulations, using the world’s most powerful supercomputers:
Stampede 2 at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (via NSF XSEDE)
Blue Waters at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications
Pleiades at NASA’s Ames Research Center
Grizzly at Los Alamos National Laboratory

I use these simulations as theoretical laboratories to test models of galaxy formation, stellar dynamics, and the cold dark matter (CDM) paradigm. In particular, my research emphasizes:
(1) galactic archaeology: reconstructing full 3D formation history of the Milky Way and its components (stellar and gaseous disk, star clusters, stellar halo, satellite dwarf galaxies),
(2) near-field cosmology: using stellar dynamics to measure the distribution, and test the particle nature, of dark matter around us.

My research also emphasizes close connections with observational data. In particular, I am co-leading MW-6D, a Treasury Program using the Hubble Space Telescope to measure proper motions and star-formation histories for all of the dwarf galaxies around the Milky Way.


curriculum vitae